Courage, happiness, and kitchen sink pasta
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The secret to happiness is freedom...
And the secret to freedom is courage. ”


Good morning, dear <<Name>>. We just celebrated Independence Day in the United States. And as always, I am so grateful to be celebrating what it means to be free.  Life isn't perfect by any means, but the US Flag on our porcholder I get, the more I realize that personal freedom to me means living my deepest truths.

The biggest switch for me was when I came to understand that I am always at choice. I can think about all the ways I desire my life to be, but it I have to choose to take action in order to make it happen. Yes, I believe that you have to first find love in what already is - whether it be your job, you love life, your body, your home - and then begin to create from there. We can only begin where we are, right?

Life isn't about making everything perfect, darling, it's about choosing to see moments as perfect. 

Yet, we can find moments of perfection in this ordinary life. On the holiday, JB and I slept in and then spent the morning on the patio with coffee, our computers, and time to catch up on email and do some reading and writing. We had a simple breakfast of fruit and yogurt...and then dug into chores and such.

After a bike ride, we had a dinner of roasted salmon atop big salads while we watched an old movie (The break from our bike rideGhost & Mrs. Muir)

Is this the kind of love affair scene we'd read about in a romance novel?  Nope. Is this the super-sexy, glamorous life you'd think would prove that you are successful?

Probably not.

The thing is, despite the lack of "picture perfect storybook perfection", I feel loved, successful, nourished, supported, and grateful. And that's important in the whole scheme of things. Loved and nourished.

The founding fathers here in the United States wrote the Declaration of Independence and included the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It's the word pursuit that draws me in every time. That's where our choice comes in. That's where the taking action comes in. We get to pursue happiness, create a life that we love, choose to love ordinary moments.... That's the kind of freedom that I am very grateful for.

Each and every day. Each and every moment. We get to choose to love what's before us. We get to choose to thrive where we're planted.

flowers in the kitchenLove, baby, is always within reach. Sometimes, we just have to stretch a little.

What about you? What are you choosing on this Independence Day weekend? What does personal freedom mean to you? Where do you need to remind yourself that you are at choice? Can you find some love in the every day moments?

What allows you to feel loved and grateful? What do you need to shift in order to feel nourished and supported? Is there more love and simply sexy moments in your life that you're missing because you're so busy trying to make everything perfect?  What can I do to help? 

I love hearing your stories and helping you find the resources you need to create a life you love.

With so much love...........


From the blog: Recharge Your Mind, Body, and Soul to Reinvigorate Your Goals

We are halfway through the year and, if you are like many, those new year’s resolutions are a distant memory. That’s why I want to suggest that in order to reinvigorate your commitment to your goals, this is the perfect time to recharge your mind, body, and soul.

Yes, you read that right. In order to find the path to become committed to your goals and desires, it’s important to take some time to recharge your batteries. Even if you can’t take a vacation, it’s possible. And, more importantly, it’s important to your overall stress levels and happiness.

That’s because, if you’re like most folks, life speeds up a bit in the fall, gets crazy busy during the holidays, and evens out to a swift trot as spring arrives. You may tell yourself that it’s simply modern life, yet you desire a little recharge to remind you there’s more to life. Then comes sum-sum-summertime.  Even if you’re no longer tied to the rhythm of the school year, the arrival of summertime almost demands that you slow down. Because, let’s face it, this go-go-go mentality has wrung your brain dry of intellectual agility and sucked the creativity from your very soul.

I am a big fan of small acts of self-care to ensure that you don’t find yourself burned out. I am also a realist and know that there is a season for everything. There’s the season of the holidays, when demands on your social life grow. Fall always ushers in the need to get life in gear. And, of course, who can deny the siren’s call of New Year’s Resolutions or the heady excitement of coming spring?

Recharge Mind, Body, & Soul this summer
I look at life as a rotating season. Yes, there are seasons in our life when we ARE busier.

Yet, these busy seasons can pull us from making progress towards our deeper goals and desires. That’s because the demands of every day life can pull us away from the deeper reason we want what we want.

See, your mind is like a muscle, requiring careful maintenance to ensure it isn’t pushed beyond its limits. Your emotional well-being is also not an inexhaustible resource. And though you may not look at your soul as a separate part of you, there’s no denying that our souls also need tending. I’m sure I’m not the only person who, after an exhausting experience, feels not only tired, but soul weary.

That’s why I’m inviting you to see the opportunity to use summer as your time to recharge mind, body, and soul. And then parlay that into a way to regularly schedule Life Maintenance into your life when the busier seasons hit. Even if you can’t take a vacation, here’s a few ways to recharge your mind, body, and soul.

Recharge Your Mind

Take up a new hobby. One of the biggest complaints I hear from folks is that they are too busy to pursue a hobby, yet when they retire, find themselves hobby-less and bored. Research shows that hobbies make us not only happier, but feel less stressed. Make the time to learn a new skill, take up a sport you want to try, or pursue something creative. Learning invites the mind to be more flexible, which helps stave off dementia.

Turn envy or jealousy into energy. When we envy others, we are only hurting ourselves. The universe does not owe you because someone else is better off than you. When you choose, instead, to channel those feelings of envy or jealousy as a way to discover what you might really desire in your life, it can lead you in exciting and new directions. Channel that energy into building who you always wanted to be in this world.

Set a new goal. Our minds love actually being used and challenged. I find that summer is a great time to take stock of what I’ve accomplished, and look ahead into what I still might want to create before the end of the year. It’s also a great time to revisit those resolutions you made (and likely discarded) at the beginning of the year. The start of summer is six months from year-end; harness that summer sunshine and use the time to make a change.

Recharge Your Body

Get more rest. There are so many temptations out there to occupy us, yet more and more, we are hearing new research on how critical it is to get adequate sleep. By committing to more rest now, you are giving your body multiple rewards. First of all, it takes us two weeks to recover from one long night, so you’ll be paying off your sleep debt. Secondly, it is teaching your body new rhythms so that when the busier times do return, you will be in the habit of giving your body adequate rest.  Last, but not least, studies found that just an extra half-hour of sleep translated into being more productive! Creating better sleep hygiene is a great way to recharge the body.

Take advantage of the season’s bounty. If you were to commit to adding fresh, in season fruits and vegetables to just one meal a day, you’ll nourish your body with good nutrients. Like with sleep, it can help get you in a new habit. When you fuel your body with quality fuel, it can’t help but feel recharged.

Experience Nature. Summer is the perfect time to take an early morning – or late evening walk. It’s a great time to just sit on the porch and read. Or maybe go to the lake or the beach. Researchers found that surgery patients healed a day faster  when they could view nature out of their hospital windows compared to those who didn’t see nature. This shows us that regular time in nature will help you recharge and heal your body. Especially from all that hard work you put it through!

Recharge Your Soul

Buy yourself a new lipstick. No, I’m not asking you to become a girly-girl or focus on glamour. This is a piece of soul tending that goes beyond the body. See, researchers at Harvard Medical School found that ladies who put on lipstick before an exam scored 20% higher than those who didn’t. There’s something about tending your body that translate to confidence and happiness. That goes soul deep. It also sends a signal to your essence that pretty things matter. (If you’re a man, consider a new kind of shave-cream or hair pomade; men need pampering, too.)

Create a new spiritual practice. Maybe you’ve been wanting to go back to church. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to learn to meditate, or there’s a spiritual book you’ve been meaning to read. Whatever your mind goes to when I suggest a new spiritual practice, that’s the voice of your soul asking for nourishment. By choosing something new to feed your soul, you’ll be able to recharge it. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll discover a new spiritual practice that sticks.

Reading can make you happier. Researchers at the University of Liverpool found that readers reported feeling less stressed, had a greater self-esteem, and coped with challenges. And when compared to non-readers, they tended to have more closes friends, a sense of community, and a more open minded approach to social issues.

Commit to a Summer of No Complaints. Complaining is a choice to focus on the problem instead of seeking a solution. Focusing on problems, and then verbalizing them, creates a continuous stream of energy flowing towards what’s not working. When it comes to your romantic relationships, The Gottman Institute found that couples who share negative interactions are more likely to divorce early. What’s worse is that we are more likely to believe criticism over compliments, which destroys our confidence.

Slow down a bit and catch your breath. Choose to use a slower pace and allow your mind, body, and soul to rest and recharge.

Though I’m all about going after your goals with gusto, sometimes taking a step back allows you to reconnect to the whys of your desires. And that, my dear, may just the ticket you need to get back to the dreams that really matter.
One of my goals for the summer is to create some new light snacks and appetizers because some nights, it's just too hot to eat a big meal. One of my favorite so far is polenta cakes as a base for light treats. 

Chop 1/2 of a shallot (about a tablespoon) and mince 4 cloves of garlic.  In a heavy bottom sauce pan, Polenta Cakes topped with pesto, cheese, and tomatoesmelt 2 tablespoons of butter and then saute scallions and garlic.  When shallot becomes translucent, add 2 cups of half and half, 3/4 cup of milk, and 2 cups of chicken stock and slowly simmer.  Toss in a couple of sprigs of thyme and add fresh ground pepper (about a tablespoon).  Stir constantly. 

When the liquid begins to softly boil, remove the thyme springs and then  gently add one cup of polenta in a steady stream while stirring constantly.  The mixture will begin to thicken and is ready to remove from the fire when the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.  

Fold in 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan Reggiano and then pour mixture into a 12X12 pan.  Allow to cook on the counter top for about fifteen minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge to cool for at least an hour.

Then comes the fun part:  cutting the polenta into shapes.  You can slice and use squares, or you can use a round biscuit cutter.  I used a  round biscuit cutter. 

Keep out only the number of cakes you'll use in a day.  The rest?  Wrap 'em in wax paper and then place them in freezer bags (or freezable storage ware). 

When you're ready to use, lightly saute the cakes in olive oil until their gently browned.  Then top with a treat. 

This is my favorite so far: a dab of basil pesto, a small chunk of goat cheese, and some tomatoes.

Volume 9-Issue 14

July 06, 2019

Love Notes Published Every-Other-Saturday
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Debra Smouse Love Note

About Debra

Debra Smouse is a writer, life coach, and Tarnished Southern Belle who is on a mission to help people create a daily life that is loving and nourishing.

A native Texan, she resides in Ohio with the Man of her Dreams. Connect with her on social media:
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Elizabeth Rago

Love & Affection

In a day and age where relationships are flat and a true connection to each other is a rare gem to be found, Debra’s genuine enthusiasm for life fuels your coaching experience. An ever-faithful ally and pillar of evolving ideas,

Debra approaches her clients with an intuitive ear, a foundation of love and sincerity, sprinkled with a touch of humor.

Elizabeth Rago
Modern Domestic Woman
Hunka Burning Love

A Year of Support & Accountability

My most popular coaching package as it allows us to spend 12 months together. We build trust and get to know each other intimately.

This allows you go go as wide - or deep - as your stage of life demands.

You choose the number of sessions that fit your lifestyle (and budget) and we’ll create an amazing year together for a life you love.

Learn More or book a discovery session to see if we're a good fit.

A Joy

Working with Debra is a joy.

She inspires me, she supports me, and she gives me direction so I can identify my needs and my wants. But she doesn’t stop there. Not only does she assist me in laying the foundation, but she gives me the tools to actually achieve the life I desire. This is an ongoing process, not a quick fix. And it takes practice.

If I veer off my intended path, Debra has given me the structure, along with the tools to get back on track. Since working with Debra, my life flows more smoothly, I know where I’m heading and I know how to get there.

I feel better about myself and my life. I look forward to each day as an adventure!

–Susan Mushkin

Over at YourTango

Too much stress can make you overwhelmed and if you want to know how to be happy in life, it's time to learn how to manage it.

Read ==>  When Life Feels Like Too Much To Handle

Unbelievable Difference

Working with Deb for just a few months has made an unbelievable difference in my life.

With her encouragement, I made major progress on clearing the clutter in my physical life as well as in my emotional life, which paved the way toward creating a new vision for the life I want to live now.

Deb has an easy conversational style, rational down-to earth wisdom, and a warm sense of humor.

She got right to the heart of the things holding me back from living my best life, and has given me sound principles and practices I can carry forward into the future.

For the first time in a long time I feel excited about my life, and I have Deb to thank for that!

-Becca Rowan, Author

Clear Your Mind

Want to know how to clear your head?

One of the biggest challenges to loving my life is my own thoughts. One moment, I’m feeling on top of the world and then suddenly feel overwhelmed, thanks to swirling thoughts that soon become brain clutter.

Read  ==> Here’s How To Clear Your Mind When You’re Stressed To The Max


Your advice has always been spot on…….from helping me see how important it is to be thankful for my blessings to helping me remove physical and emotional clutter from my life. I am actually the most grateful for the times when you have spoken the truth in love and been honest with me when I wanted to continue to delude myself. Without those wise words, I would have continued to lie to myself and not had the breakthroughs I have experienced.

I’m not all I want to be yet but I would have ever found my path had I not met and worked with you. Thank you for your efforts in helping me find my life. I am forever in your debt.

~Basil Human, Engineer, Chief Operating Officer, Writer

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I believe that if you were to really get to know all the sides of someone, you couldn’t help but fall in love with them.

What if YOU were that person?

Become Besotted. With Yourself. With Your Life.

Become Besotted will assist you in writing your story, a month at a time. An opportunity to get to know all sides of yourself and fall in love.

Become Besotted will also help you explore your dreams and desires. It will serve you in monitoring your victories and shedding what isn’t serving you.

You receive an in-depth questionnaire and 12 months to unfold your story and fall in love...

Purchase here.

Also in the Blog

What can you do when you begin feeling overwhelmed?

Read ==> Six Action Steps to Take When You Begin Feeling Overwhelmed
Copyright © 2019 Debra Smouse - Create a Life You Love, All rights reserved.

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